The advent of smart devices and the empowerment of consumers may have more to do with the troubles of J.C. Penney, Kmart and Staples than the overall economy, analysts say. "Retail is in turmoil. If you aren't performing, you look to suppliers for help: agencies, consultants, vendors. You know the things you are doing aren't bringing in adequate traffic. So, you look to find new ways to express your value proposition and new consumers to target," says Michael Silverstein, a Boston Consulting Group senior partner.